What Masters Degree Do You Need for Forensic Psychology?


Martha Robinson

Forensic psychology is a field that combines psychology and criminal justice to aid in the investigation of crimes. It is a fascinating area of study that requires a specific set of skills and knowledge. If you are interested in pursuing a career in forensic psychology, you may be wondering what type of master’s degree you need to be eligible for this profession.

What Is Forensic Psychology?

Forensic psychology is the application of psychological principles and theories to legal issues. This field includes the assessment, treatment, and evaluation of individuals who are involved in the legal system. Forensic psychologists work with a variety of people such as victims, witnesses, suspects, defendants, attorneys, and judges.

Forensic psychologists help to understand the mental state and behavior of individuals involved in legal cases. They use their expertise to provide insights into various aspects such as witness testimony accuracy, jury selection, criminal profiling, risk assessment, psychopathy diagnosis and treatment planning.

Master’s Degree Requirements for Forensic Psychology

To become a forensic psychologist at the master’s level requires an advanced degree in either clinical or forensic psychology. Depending on your career goals and interests you can choose from a Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MS), or a Master’s Degree in Psychology with an emphasis on forensics.

Master of Arts (MA) in Forensic Psychology

An MA degree program typically focuses on teaching students theoretical knowledge about the intersection between law and psychology. The curriculum usually emphasizes research methods used within forensic psychology settings like interviewing techniques for obtaining accurate information from witnesses or suspects.

Some examples of courses offered within an MA program include:

  • Criminal Behavior
  • Victimology
  • Policing & Law Enforcement
  • Juvenile Justice System
  • Research Methods & Statistics

Master of Science (MS) in Forensic Psychology

An MS degree program in forensic psychology focuses more heavily on the scientific and experimental aspects of the field.

Some examples of courses offered within an MS program include:

  • Advanced Statistics for Psychology
  • Neuropsychology & Psychopharmacology
  • Criminal Behavior & Psychopathology
  • Treatment Planning for Forensic Clients
  • Ethics in Forensic Settings

Master’s Degree in Psychology with an Emphasis on Forensics

A Master’s Degree in Psychology with an emphasis on forensics provides a more general education in psychology, with a focus on forensic application. This degree program allows students to explore various areas of psychology, including clinical and forensic psychology.

Some examples of courses offered within this type of program include:

  • Theories & Techniques of Counseling & Psychotherapy
  • Social Psychology
  • Criminal Justice Systems & Processes
  • Victimology
  • Psychopathology


In conclusion, if you want to become a forensic psychologist, you need to have a master’s degree in either clinical or forensic psychology. Depending on your interests, you can choose from different types of master’s degrees such as MA, MS or Master’s Degree in Psychology with an emphasis on forensics.

The skills and knowledge acquired through these programs can provide you with a solid foundation for entering this field and pursuing your career goals. With the right education and training, you can become an expert in the fascinating field of forensic psychology.